Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan eBook

Franklin Hiram King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan.
in his Soil Fertility and Permanent Agriculture, page 234, makes this pointed statement of fact:  “1000 bushels of grain has at least five times as much food value and will support five times as many people as will the meat or milk that can be made from it”.  He also calls attention to the results of many Rothamsted feeding experiments with growing and fattening cattle, sheep and swine, showing that the cattle destroyed outright, in every 100 pounds of dry substance eaten, 57.3 pounds, this passing off into the air, as does all of wood except the ashes, when burned in the stove; they left in the excrements 36.5 pounds, and stored as increase but 6.2 pounds of the 100.  With sheep the corresponding figures were 60.1 pounds; 31.9 pounds and 8 pounds; and with swine they were 65.7 pounds; 16.7 pounds and 17.6 pounds.  But less than two-thirds of the substance stored in the animal can become food for man and hence we get but four pounds in one hundred of the dry substances eaten by cattle in the form of human food; but five pounds from the sheep and eleven pounds from swine.

In view of these relations, only recently established as scientific facts by rigid research, it is remarkable that these very ancient people came long ago to discard cattle as milk and meat producers; to use sheep more for their pelts and wool than for food; while swine are the one kind of the three classes which they did retain in the role of middleman as transformers of coarse substances into human food.

It is clear that in the adoption of the succulent forms of vegetables as human food important advantages are gained.  At this stage of maturity they have a higher digestibility, thus making the elimination of the animal less difficult.  Their nitrogen content is relatively higher and this in a measure compensates for loss of meat.  By devoting the soil to growing vegetation which man can directly digest they have saved 60 pounds per 100 of absolute waste by the animal, returning their own wastes to the field for the maintenance of fertility.  In using these immature forms of vegetation so largely as food they are able to produce an immense amount that would otherwise be impossible, for this is grown in a shorter time, permitting the same soil to produce more crops.  It is also produced late in the fall and early in the spring when the season is too cold and the hours of sunshine too few each day to permit of ripening crops.


The fuel problem, building and
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